Thursday, September 18, 2008

Read This Blog Post For Me

About three years ago I wrote this:

"........the medical profession have long been fond of popping. Maybe it's something they teach them at medical school.The doctor will 'pop you up on the couch', ask you to 'just pop your pants down', tell you he's about to pop a bloody great needle into you and then 'pop a plaster' on the wound. Then he'll tell you to 'pop round to the chemist' with his prescription and 'pop back' to see him in a week or two.
But now, like some mutating virus that has crossed species, 'pop' has exploded throughout the general population.The woman in the shop today asked me to pop my debit card into the card machine. Then, to just pop my pin number into the machine. When I'd completed all this popping she told me she was just going to pop my purchase into a bag for me

I omitted to mention that, in medical contexts, 'pop' is nearly always followed by "for me".I was reminded of this when attending the hospital this week."Could you just pop onto these scales for me?"............."Just come into this cubicle for me"............"pop your jacket and shirt off and lie on the couch for me"............"piss into this tumbler for me". For you? Fucking hell, are you going to drink it?

After the 26th "for me" I was tempted to start singing the Bryan Adams song: "Everything I Do, I Do It For You." However that particular nurse looked as though she might be the Gold Medal holder in the Lesbian World Kick-Boxing Championships, so I thought better of it.

Whilst my admiration for NHS staff is boundless, I am not going through any of these indignities for them. I am doing so to prevent what the consultant euphemistically called "an event". (By which he meant going belly-up clutching my chest and screaming "put a notice on my blog for me, otherwise dear old Vicus and the others will think I've had a hissy fit over one of their comments.")

There's something infantilising about that "for me" phrase. It's what a mother might say to a small child: "put these dishes away for me.........put your foot up for me while I tie your shoelace." The sub-text being "you'll do this for me because I'm your mother and I love and care for you."
They may be the 'caring profession' but it doesn't reflect the kind of relationship I have with them.
In any case, even the receptionist was at it: "just take a seat over there for me."

Not content with the maternal approach, many of these people adopted a priestly role for I was also blessed a good many times.
A comment like "I was in hospital a few weeks ago" would bring forth that fucking patronising: "Ah, bless you!"
What? Had I sneezed without realising it?

On a more positive note, when I said "If I'd known I was having another ECG I'd have shaved my chest", the nurse said that she'd carefully arranged my chest hair to minimise contact with the sticky tape.
Ah, bless!
She'd done it for me.
When all's said and done, aren't the NHS staff wonderful?


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